A number of different initiatives are seeing the Israel Institute of Technology – and its alumni – head to space

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology is partnering with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Space Division to develop and launch a nano-satellite to orbit the moon.

The project, which will see Technion students utilise the help of IAI space engineers and facilities, is set to start in October and is scheduled to take a few years.

Meanwhile, another technology created by a Technion alumnus is part of 44 experiments to be conducted in outer space.

The mission, led by Eytan Stibbe, who will become the second Israeli to leave Earth, is scheduled to travel to the International Space Station in 2022.

Among many other tests (including one called Space Hummus!) is the brainchild of Ziv Yekutielu – a Technion alumnus who founded Mon4t – an FDA-approved app for patients with motor and cognitive impairments which has moved into the psychiatric domain.

The technology will aim to monitor Stibbe’s brain activity for 10 minutes twice a day, using a multi-sensor headset that incorporates AI algorithms.

It is hoped that data collected could then be used to help assess cognitive wellness in astronauts in the future.

Another Technion experiment – joint with NASA – will try to show that liquids in space can be successfully shaped into high-quality optical elements, paving the way for things like space telescopes.

“While in the past only about 10% of the faculty syllabus was dedicated to space, in the past few years there has been an effort to change this and reach a more equal balance between the two fields,” Faculty Dean Professor Tal Shima said in a statement. 

“As an alumnus of the Technion, accompanying projects and different mentoring programs over the years, I am excited by the existing and future cooperation between IAI and the Technion,” IAI president and CEO Boaz Levy is reported as saying. 

Director of Technion UK, Alan Aziz, says: “We’ve always known that the endless talent and capabilities coming out of the Technion is unparalleled, but with these latest developments, it is clear to anyone that the calibre of the institute is second to none. When it comes to the Technion, anything is possible, and we are excited to witness these journeys into space over the coming months and years.”